A Comparison of Three Chemical Methods for Phosphorus Activity Area Analysis

Author(s): Paige Phillips

Year: 2016


This research examines three different analytical methods used in the archaeological studies of soil chemistry for the purpose of uncovering human activities at archaeological sites. The samples used come from a prehispanic urban center at the Formative period site of Tlalancaleca (800 BC- AD 100), located in Puebla, México. Soil samples from Tlalancaleca were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), Mehlich 3 soil phosphorus colorimetry, and portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) spectrometry. The comparison examines the concentrations of phosphorus in soils, a highly indicative element of human activities. In this comparison of methods, ICP-OES was found to be the most comprehensive, precise, and accurate method to use, while pXRF and Mehlich colorimetry were found to show differing information with regards to available and natural concentrations of phosphorus.

Cite this Record

A Comparison of Three Chemical Methods for Phosphorus Activity Area Analysis. Paige Phillips. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404640)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;